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My old website can be found at

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Controversy Over "Vegan" Cookbook

Pat Crocker is the author of The Vegetarian Cook's Bible, which I mentioned in December in 2007 in my Cookbooks As Giving Gifts post. It didn't get a lot of attention but garnered fairly good reviews on Amazon.

This year she came out with The Vegan Cook's Bible. An interview with the people at the Chicago NBC station indicated that she has good advice to offer.

3. What are some principles of making vegan dishes flavorful?

I spent a lot of time developing a healthy (pardon the pun) 'Basics' section in order to do just that. This section includes vegan sauces, dips, spreads, glazes for perking up vegetable and fruit dishes, as well as providing many nut and fruit milk alternatives, along with egg, cream and butter plant alternatives. My promise in accepting the challenge of writing a vegan cookbook was that the recipes would be delicious and that even non-vegetarians and non-vegans would enjoy them because they simply tasted divine.

That all sounds great. There's also a bunch of solid vegan recipes on that page.

But when you go to Amazon you see a page full of angry reviews from vegans. They all complain that Crocker uses fish and honey in her recipes, both obviously not vegan dishes.

I don't understand why any author would do this in a supposed vegan "bible." It's clear that many of her recipes are completely vegan and I like the advice that I've seen. Yet I can't recommend the book. You'll have to make up your own minds whether to ignore the non-vegan recommendations to get to the useful recipes or just go on to another of the many vegan cookbooks published these days.

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